|By Lisa J. Curtis
The Brooklyn Papers
This Mother's Day, don't take mom's love for
granted. After all, she still loves you unconditionally - despite the
fact that you drove up those insurance premiums after your many fender
benders in high school, that you moved to New York City after college,
despite your huge wedding but I digress.
This year, take some time to be with your mother and leave your
whirlwind of a life on the other side of the soundproof doors of a day
spa. I brought my mom to Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon in Bay Ridge for
the "Pilo Day of Beauty," which includes a 55-minute facial, one-hour
massage, a manicure and pedicure, haircut and style with a master
stylist, makeup application and lunch ($314).
But my real present to her (and myself) was that I booked the same Day
of Beauty package, so I could be right by her side and we could enjoy
the day together.
We began in the morning with facials, then massages in private rooms.
At Pilo, facials include paraffin hand treatments and incorporate some
hot and cold massage stones. Although we both had "signature facials,"
they were customized for our different needs by our aestheticians Bela
Our Swedish massages were also adjusted to our very different
specifications. Our massage therapists asked where our aches and pains
were and they inquired if we preferred massage cream or oil. (Massage
cream is absorbed into the skin, and doesn't require a post-massage
shower.) Mom wanted to relax, and Terry offered a massage without
beating strokes - only relaxing, de-stressing pressure, said mom.
"When I go to a spa, I go to relax," she said, her newly exfoliated
cheeks pink and dewy. "At my age, I don't want anything too
I requested a deeper tissue massage to work out the sore muscles from
our recent SoHo shopping spree. (When mom and I go shopping, I'm the
bag lady.) My masseuse Stuart worked deep, detangling muscles and
leaving me with limp-noodle arms that he was ultimately able to swing
around like slack string.
Mom and I reunited in the relaxation room, where mothers and daughters
can compare notes and enjoy bellinis and a light lunch. Spa-goers also
have the option to shower and steam or relax until the next treatment.
We were pressed for time, so we had lunch delivered to us on clever
tables attached to our adjacent leather, massaging pedicure chairs.
Shirley and Maggie rescued our battered tootsies, while mom enjoyed a
light lady's lunch of tuna salad and I tucked into a giant
cheeseburger deluxe (with extra mayo, thank you). I chose bright-red
lacquer while mom opted for a subtle beige, with fingers to match.
After her short, sleek locks were styled by Leah Shortall, mom was
ready for makeup.
I opted for a precision haircut with Pilo co-owner Paul Pastore, who
snipped away with inverted V-cuts to give my long, recently
straightened hair a style that had movement, and layers that so
perfectly complemented my round face that family members asked if I
had lost weight! Pastore also offered much-needed styling tips:
blow-drying hair upside down adds extra volume and applying oil adds
extra shine and protects chemically treated hair. He instantly became
my hair guru.
After makeup applications by Suzanne Alfonso and Christine Vallaro in
the latest spring colors, our eyes literally twinkled with sparkling
"eye dust." Mom and I emerged buffed, gleaming and infinitely more
glamorous and rested than when we had arrived. And the real luxury of
the day: we were finally able to spend time alone with each other.
As I waved goodbye to my mom, who was driving back home to
Massachusetts, I felt of pang of sadness. She called the next day to
thank me, and said that when she was looking back at me in her
rearview mirror, she felt sad, too. I blinked back tears with my
sparkling eyelids, and wiped another tear from my moisturized cheek
with my perfectly manicured hand and vowed to schedule our next day at